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Can Obesity Cause Urinary Incontinence

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The Dish On Nutrish: How Diet Can Affect Bladder Control

Urinary Incontinence in Men, Animation

Many women who experience bladder leakage reduce their fluid intake to avoid experiencing leaks, but this can actually worsen the problem by creating highly concentrated urine that makes you need to go more often. Not drinking enough fluids can also create excess bacteria growth, which can lead to bladder infections.

The following beverages and foods are known bladder irritantseliminating them from your diet or at least cutting back may help improve your bladder control and function:

Incontinence In The Setting Of Morbid Obesity

Incontinence is a relatively common condition, particularly in obese individuals. Defined as involuntary passage of urine or feces, incontinence is rarely associated with serious underlying pathology, but can have a profoundly negative impact upon quality of life, limiting daily activities and affecting psychological wellbeing, social interaction and interpersonal relationships.

Obesity And Incontinence: How Being Overweight Or Obese Can Contribute To Bladder Leaks

Rachel had always been overweight. Even in high school, she struggled to maintain a healthy weight and tried diet after diet to get the pounds off, but nothing worked. In her 20s, she gained even more weight, and by the time she had given birth to her first child, she weighed more than she ever had in her life.

I knew I needed to do something about it, she said. I had tried before, but having my daughter, Ellie, put things in a new light. I wanted to be healthy for her.

Rachel met with a nutritionist and started on a healthy eating plan. She also began walking every day, often with her daughter. After a few weeks, she started seeing the pounds slide off, and after a year of healthy eating and consistent exercise, she was finally at a healthy weight.

One surprising benefit of losing weight? She also stopped having bladder leaks.

Even before I had Ellie, I would leak a little here and there, she said. And once I had given birth, I found I had to wear pads constantly.

But after losing weight, I havent leaked at all. Im sure that my body has healed somewhat from having Ellie by now, but I cant help but think that having all that extra weight gone also has something to do with it.

A paper in Obesity Reviews showed that obese women were twice as likely to leak urine as women who were a normal weight.

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Causes Of Urinary Incontinence

Some of the temporary causes of urinary incontinence are Urinary Tract Infections, Constipation, certain foods, drinks or medications that act as diuretics. These temporary causes can be treated easily as they are due to an underlying cause.

Other types of Urinary Incontinence which are persistent and may have some physical cause: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Obstruction, age, being overweight or obese could be some of the physical causes of Urinary incontinence.

How Extra Weight And Diet Can Affect Bladder Control

Urge Urinary Incontinence &  Overactive Bladder Syndrome

While scientists and researchers are still working out exactly to what extent being overweight and obese negatively affects health , the general consensus among medical professionals is that being overweight or obese contributes to a range of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and joint problems such as arthritis.5,6

Being overweight or obese can also reduce the quality of life in a number of waysby limiting a persons mobility, making things like air travel difficult and diminishing self-esteem.7

Carrying extra weight can also put pressure on the bladder causing urinary incontinence or make it worse8,9, which is a condition that one in three women will suffer with at some point in her life.

Diet can also affect bladder control. Well explore in more detail how weight and nutrition can contribute to urinary incontinence, and well look at ways to improve symptoms.

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What Causes Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:

  • Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
  • Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
  • Pelvic or back surgery.
  • Medications, alcohol and caffeine: All of these products can dull the nerves, which affects the signal to the brain. This could result in bladder overflow. Diuretics and caffeine can cause your bladder to fill rapidly and possibly leak.
  • Infection: An infection, like a urinary tract infection , can irritate the bladder nerves and cause the bladder to squeeze without warning.
  • Excess weight: Being overweight places extra pressure on your bladder. This can lead to urge incontinence.
  • Estrogen deficiency after menopause: This hormonal change could contribute to a loss of urine due to urgency. Ask your doctor if vaginal-only estrogen therapy is right for you. This is different from systemic hormone therapy, which is absorbed throughout the body.
  • Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.

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    Editorial: The Relationship Between Obesity And Urinary Incontinence And Its Causes

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial college NHS Healthcare trust,London,U.K

    Corresponding Author:
    Dr Rhiannon Bray, MBBS, Bsc Subspecialty trainee in UrogynaecologyDepartment of Obstetrics and GynaecologyImperial college NHS Healthcare trust, London,U.KTel: +44 2033121752

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    Up to 50% of adult women report urinary incontinence . It has a major impact on quality of life, equivalent to diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis . Similarly, obesity is also an increasing worldwide epidemic with pervasive associations with arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease . The prevalence of obesity now exceeds 25% of the adult population in Europe, Australia and the United States . Aging, childbirth and overweight and obesity are identified as the three major risk factors for incontinence . Age and parity are not modifiable, but being overweight or obesity is potentially highly modifiable.

    In the results of a cluster analysis of the Boston Area Community Health Survey where 1899 men were studied and classified into five clusters depending on the severity and pattern of urinary symptoms, more symptomatic men tended to have larger WC as well as higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular symptoms .


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    How To Identify If Your Client Is Obese

    1. BMI calculation. Body fat is calculated on an individual’s weight in relation to his/her height and age. A person with a BMI of 25 – 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI > 30 is considered obese4.

    2. Waist circumference is also an indicator of obesity, with a measurement over 88 cm for women and over 102 cm for men, indicative of obesity3.

    3. A weight over 100 kg is what is termed Bariatric in hospitals and community settings by medical, nursing and allied health staff. This weight alerts staff that they may need to order special bariatric equipment for a patient with this weight

    Can Overactive Bladder Be Controlled

    Urinary Incontinence (Stress, Urge, Overflow & Functional) | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

    Overactive bladder therapy can be challenging to manage. However, many people are very satisfied with the treatment they receive and they often see a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Your doctor will guide you to the best steps to begin with and give you options for any additional treatments you may need over time.

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    What Precautions Must The Patient Take After Using These Products

    Urinary incontinence products are designed to absorb urine and save the person from embarrassing situations. However, the patient needs to ensure he keeps his skin protected. It is because skin irritation and itching are commonly seen when the urine remains in contact for a prolonged period. The following steps help prevent skin irritation:

  • Do not wear the soaked pads for a prolonged period. Remove them immediately and wear a new one.

  • Sometimes, the urine might leak onto the bed while sleeping. In such a situation, change the bed sheet immediately to prevent skin infection.

  • After using absorbent pads, underwear, or other incontinence products, make sure to clean the skin and pat it dry.

  • Skin barrier creams and lotions are of great help in protecting the skin.

  • Bottom Line: It’s All About Patient Preference

    While Dr. Crisp does encourage weight loss for her overweight patients struggling with incontinence, she emphasizes that when she creates a treatment plan, it’s all about patient preference. “We go through all of their options, including pelvic floor, physical therapy and outpatient surgery and medication, and if the patient chooses to move toward physical therapy, weight loss and behavioral training, we go through their program with them to try to not only improve muscle strength, but also improve weight loss,” Dr. Crisp explains.

    This also involves having the patient cut out items in their diet that are bad for the bladder, like coffee and soda, and acidic foods, like citrus or fruit juices.

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    Does Being Fat Affect Your Bladder

    Being overweight or obese can affect the bladder in a number of ways. Being overweight and obese are risk factors for urinary incontinence, especially stress incontinence. Being overweight may also increase your risk of developing other types of urinary problems. For example, people who are overweight or obese have a higher incidence of kidney stones than people who are not overweight or obese. Kidney stones occur when salts and minerals build up in the kidneys and form crystals that block the outflow of urine from your kidneys into your bladder.

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    How Much Weight Do I Need To Lose To Have An Impact

    Can Being Overweight Cause Urinary Incontinence

    Make an Appointment Catrina Crisp MD, MSc, FACOG513 463 4300

    It doesnt have to be a drastic weight loss, but weight loss of around eight percent of a patients body weight, which is, on average, for a women, around 15 to 20 pounds, will reduce their weekly leakage whether its overactive bladder or stress incontinence by about 47 percent, Catrina Crisp MD MSc FACOG, of Cincinnati Urogynecology Associates, explains.

    The less weight you lose, however, the less impact it will have on your incontinence, but regardless, studies show that weight loss does reduce urinary leakage. A 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who lost just two percent of their body weight had about a 28 percent reduction in their incontinence episodes.

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    Can Losing Weight Fix Incontinence

    Losing weight is a common treatment for stress incontinence because it helps decrease the pressure in a persons abdomen. However, losing weight alone will not fix SUI or MUI.

    To successfully treat urinary incontinence, a doctor may recommend that an obese patient lose weight and see a pelvic floor physical therapist. A physical therapist will work with the patient to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles in order to minimize urinary leakage.

    Losing weight has other benefits besides improving incontinence, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

    Selection Criteria Of Subjects And Intervention

    The participants inclusion criteria were as follows: 4060 years old BMI28 kg/m2 Sneeze, cough, laugh or exercise, involuntary urine leaks from the urethral orifice One hour urine pad test2 g Subjects voluntarily participated in this study and sign the informed consent form. Exclusion criteria: Urodynamic examination excludes urgent urinary incontinence and mixed urinary incontinence History of urinary incontinence or pelvic floor surgery History of total hysterectomy or subtotal hysterectomy History of pelvic radiotherapy Pelvic organ prolapse Urinary infection One hour urine pad test10 g Other methods are being used to treat stress urinary incontinence Complicated with abnormal functions of important organs such as heart, liver, kidney and hematopoietic system.

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    Why Does Obesity Increase The Risk Of Incontinence

    To understand how obesity might cause incontinence, youd need to know a little more about how the body holds urine in, and why incontinence happens.

    Urine is formed in the kidneys and then collected in the urinary bladder, which is in turn closed by the urethral sphincter a muscular tube that contracts on the bladder neck and holds urine in. The bladder and the sphincter are supported by the pelvic floor muscles, which form a muscular diaphragm allowing the sphincter to function normally. Damage to the bladder muscle, the urethral sphincter, the pelvic floor muscles, or the nerves supplying them can cause urinary incontinence.

    It is not fully understood how obesity fits into the picture, but there are some well-supported theories.

    Other researches believe that obesity itself is the cause, regardless of the other risk factors. The increased pressure inside the abdomen, occurring due to the large amounts of abdominal fat in obese people, chronically pushes down on the bladder, possibly damaging and weakening the urethral sphincter, pelvic floor muscles, and adjacent nerves, and eventually causing stress incontinence.

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    Medications And Supplements That Can Cause Or Worsen Ui

    Renal: Incontinence, Urinary Tract Infection & Pyelonephritis – Medical-Surgical | @Level Up RN
    • Diuretics, or water pills
    • Some heart and blood pressure medications
    • Some cold and allergy medications
    • Some medications for depression and anxiety
    • Some medications for diabetes
    • Some medications for dementia
    • Muscle relaxants

    Talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking that might be causing UI. Never stop any medications without talking to your healthcare provider first.

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    What You Can Do To Prevent Urinary Incontinence

    There are lots of factors besides weight that contribute to urinary incontinence. If you have any concerns regarding your pelvic health, it is always best to get a thorough evaluation from your doctors and a pelvic floor therapist .

    Here is a short list of things that can contribute to urinary incontinence:

    There are two main types of urinary incontinence:

    Stress incontinence

    If you have this type, activities that raise the pressure inside your abdomen cause urine to leak through the ring of muscle in your bladder that normally holds it in. Coughing, sneezing, jumping and lifting heavy objects could lead to a leak.

    Going through childbirth, smoking or being overweight can raise the risk of stress incontinence for women, Wright says. Stress incontinence in men is rare, and when it arises, its often due to prostate cancer treatment, such as radiation or surgery.

    Urge incontinence

    With this type, your brain, spinal cord and bladder dont work together properly to allow you to hold and release urine at the right time. Your bladder may suddenly empty itself without warning. Or you may feel like you need to urinate frequently, a problem called overactive bladder.

    Some diseases that affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis or stroke, can cause this kind of incontinence, says Wright. In men, an enlarged prostate may be the culprit. But in many cases, doctors dont know what causes urge incontinence.

    It is possible to have both types of incontinence at the same time.

    Start With Small Steps

    Weight loss will not happen overnight but it will happen. Increase your chances of success by consulting with your healthcare provider on nutrition and exercise advice. For many people, making too many big changes all at once is overwhelming. Instead you might try simply cutting back portions or adding an extra serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal. For example, you might have only one piece or toast and a handful of berries with breakfast. At lunch you might have a small, rather than large helping of fries and add a salad with your sandwich. Small changes can add up to big change overtime.

    Exercise in a way that works for you. Do chair exercise or take a brisk walk to burn extra calories. As you develop your weight loss plan, share it with someone who will encourage you and hold you accountable for sticking to your goals.

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    The Links Between Obesity And Bladder Problems

    In a recent meeting presented at the annual American Urological Association meeting in 2018, Dr. H. Henry Lai presented information that shows a high correlation between obesity and developing OAB or UI. His studies show that roughly 60 percent of the patients studied who were seeking treatment for either urological problem were obese. Other risk factors that may contribute to OAB or UI mentioned in this study included diabetes and hypertension however, both of those conditions can be side effects from centralized obesity as well. In his conclusion, the doctor noted that those with obesity had a 1.41.70-fold higher chance of the development of UI or OAB directly because of their weight. When men and women were separated into groups, women had a 2.02.5-fold higher chance of OAB and UI.

    Essentially, patients already at risk for OAB and UI should be mindful of their BMI, trying to lose the weight if possible. A healthy diet full of leafy greens, grains, and proteins is a must, as is an exercise regimen. For those who are severely obese, there are other medical options to help with weight management. If you have questions about urological problems or are experiencing issues such as incontinence and overactive bladder, book an appointment with Mississippi Urology Clinic today. There are many successful treatments to help manage OAB and UI, and were here to help.

    An Increase In Periprostatic Adipose Tissue

    Why does obesity cause incontinence? Read why here.

    There is fatty tissue around the prostate. It is called periprostatic adipose tissue. According to studies, an increase in periprostatic adipose tissue is associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. It is apparently because this adipose tissue is a source of IL-6 and other cytokines. They promote cancer development and make cancer cells more aggressive. In any case, patients with obesity have an increase of fatty tissue around the prostate. This is associated with a higher Gleason grade and a risk of metastatic disease.

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